Pamplin Media Group – LETTERS to the editor
Letters to the Editor are where BEE readers have the opportunity to share their opinions and observations.
Hoping to save a Sellwood tree
A few months ago, I learned that a neighborhood property, 8405 SE 8th, had been purchased by developer Renaissance Homes. THE BEE made a story on this property a few months ago. We hung a banner and are leaving messages for the tree and the developer. There were 3 large fir trees on this property that have been around longer than any of us. One has already been shot and another is expected to be removed soon. Our neighborhood hired an arborist who came to assess the trees; they are healthy and strong and would probably survive us if it weren’t for Renaissance Homes and our town’s inadequate rules to protect the environment. The problem with this tree in our neighborhood hits me hard. It’s a symbol of the helplessness I feel seeing Portland crumble in three main areas:
· Environmental – Southern Oregon is on fire and we experienced record-breaking deadly heat a few weeks ago. Our canopy has endless benefits for our city and the planet. The canopy of trees lowers summer heat peaks, air pollution, sucks carbon, but we are letting corporate greed prevail on our planet. · Â Â Â Â Housing – Our community… the neighbors I share a potluck with and our kids ride their bikes with can’t afford to buy a house here. When you allow developers to create Million Dollar McMansions, you are pushing everyone but the 1% off! Get developers to build houses that people in the neighborhood can afford. Help us keep and build our community. It creates health for all of us. Racial inequality – Over the past five years, the average list price of single-family homes has increased by over 90% – disproportionately affecting African and Latin American families and fueling rapid gentrification. The truth is. . . most [development], the less diversity we have in our city.
Force developers to build homes at zero net. . . they can afford it! Teach them to build around the trees which are essential to the health and canopy of our city. This tree is on the edge of the property, and could easily be built around. . . A house can be created that would suit members of our community and preserve this century-old tree. Thanks to community activism, we managed to save one of the trees. They are interconnected and dependent on each other, just like we do in this city. Please make me feel that the fate of this planet is not foregone. I need to feel that I can teach my children that we can still make a difference. Please help spread the word!
Daria MatzaBy e-mail
BEE readers participate in the book
Editor, A book I wrote about a historic Oregon achievement – the “Flight for Freedom” – will be released this year on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. . . the title is “Oregon Loves New York: A Story of American Unity After September 11”. This trip was led by Portland Mayor Vera Katz and was organized by many of Oregon’s civic and business leaders, led by Sho Dozono, then president of the Portland chamber. A thousand people from across the state, including many from Portland and surrounding areas, participated. I know people who have read THE BEE attended, because you were kind enough to post my interest in interviewing the attendees [in the “Letters to the Editor”], and a number of people have responded. Thank you. . .
This is a huge accomplishment on the part of Oregonians, an effort that no other community across the country has been able to accomplish.
Sally Ruth Bourrie, author,
By emailEDITOR’S NOTE: As an incidental point of interest – in addition to the thousands of people who made it to the Big Apple in this project – at least one Portland dog was also sent to New York, along with his handler, to search the ruins of the World Trade Center immediately after the disaster – “Garm”, the father of the publisher’s first long-haired German Shepherd, Mrs. Drew. Garm was a famous rescue dog in these areas, but even he couldn’t find a single survivor in the rubble of the collapsing Twin Towers. His master, Bill, described the scene there as “horrible”, and never spoke of it again.
Help save the bees
Editor, When I think about my favorite parts of life in Oregon, I imagine rocky beaches, coastal forests, snow-capped volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls, orchards, farms, deserts and wildflowers . The beauty of Oregon lies in the pollinators. Bees, birds, bats, and butterflies are essential to the existence and diversity of Oregon’s plant life, as well as the survival of the farms that feed so many of us. 90% of all wild plants and 75% of all food crops depend to some extent on animal pollination. Without our animal pollinators, especially the humble bee, our natural world would deteriorate and we would likely fall into starvation. With all that bees do for us and for the natural world that we Oregonians love so much, it is our responsibility to protect these integral parts of the ecosystems we are all a part of. As neonicotinoid pesticides are killing bee populations, we need to raise our voices and tell our representatives why we care. Across the country there are movements to ban the use of neonics, so why can’t we work to ban these bee-killing pesticides as well? It’s time to express our concern for saving the bees and, in doing so, protecting the nature of Oregon and its people.Abby Guild
Are clearcuts the answer to forest fires?
We are in the second year of a massive drought and fire. If I were to bet, we have much longer fire seasons ahead of us. Even California redwoods are drying out. Fire technology cannot keep up with the intensity and number of fires. Even if we had a year or two of normal water, the ground is so hard that we would still have long fire seasons. I think the answer lies in massive clearcuts. A
1) Â The price of lumber will be lowered, contributing to the severe housing crisis.
2) Increased employment for thousands of displaced loggers. 3) Help the current victims of the fires by reducing the costs of reconstruction and land acquisition.
4) Through legislative action, people who are rebuilding should be forced to build in burnt areas, and new construction would not be allowed in wooded areas.
5) Clearcuts would become experimental planning areas for drought and fire resistant species.
6.) Firestops are needed to slow down the intensity and size of what has become normal.
We have to do something different, or Oregon will be forever changed for the worse. Better half a loaf than no bread at all.
Steve Baker SE Place du College Reed
Thanks to everyone who helped
Editor, To our community – thank you for your generous response to our request to help fund the permanent location of the Woodstock Pantry in the spring. With your support, a fundraiser from our local restaurant Laughing Planet that raised over $ 1,500, and a grant from the Oregon Food Bank, we were able to reach our goal. The Refurbished Shipping Container is now in our North Lot, in a temporary location, but it will soon be stocked with food and clearly designated as the Woodstock Pantry. Thanks for your support, and thanks to THE BEE for helping us spread the word!
Reverend Andria Skornik
Rector, All Saints Episcopal Church Woodstock
Public apology offered
Making a mistake is a humbling experience, and I just made a huge one along SE 15th Avenue at the end of July. Mistakes have consequences. Mistakes are not forgotten. And, mistakes require reflection on personal and community values and character. In the rush to run an old car with a test drive in the neighborhood, I stalled along SE 15th Avenue in St. Martins Street and realized there must be water in my gasoline. There are a hundred things I could have done differently and more responsibly, but instead I acted impulsively, selfishly, and recklessly, and handed out a syringe (2 oz) of gasoline contaminated with water from the carburetor in the ground along the sidewalk. The owner witnessed what I had done and immediately asked me about the impacts on his family, his property and the environmental health of the neighborhood. Over the next hour, he and his wife dug up the contaminated soil, contacted the City for advice, and filled the hole with cat litter. I filed a report online with DEQ and, while waiting for a tow from AAA, had four hours to absorb the magnitude of what I had done in a reckless moment.
As an emergency worker and concerned about the community, I deeply regret my mistake and the lack of respect it shows towards my neighbor and my neighborhood. I offer this formal public apology and sincerely regret my action, as a step towards personal responsibility. The weight of this error in judgment has given me a point of reference to re-evaluate my priorities, commitments and responsibilities as an 18-year-old resident of Sellwood-Moreland and Portland.
Editor, informative article by Dana Beck [“Southeast History”] in the August issue, in the second paragraph, it says, “The people who lived in the interior of the Southeast, but worked upstream in Portland…” [This] continues the myth that the Willamette River flows south. Downstream would be okay. Many people seem to believe that rivers should flow from the top of traditional maps down (south). For a good geography lesson, find the number of rivers flowing north – and always downhill!
South East Portland
EDITOR’S NOTE: Good grip. The editor missed it too, so I take the blame!
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